I am fond of animals. Because I care for them, I don’t eat meat since I am 16 years old. Dairy I only take from biological farms (and yes, I know even that is not entirely fair). I really detest the way animals are treated in our society for human consumption, clothing or labour. I don’t want to be a part of that.
I feel connected to animals – not only because of they are ‘cute’, but for most that we can learn from them and that they can be our guide, that helps us to explore our inner and outer realms. Animals as teachers and messengers from the guides in the unseen realm.
That animals can be our guide is known for aeons within shamanic and other cultures. In indigenous cultures around the world, shamans journey into the spirit realm, sometimes referred to as “non-ordinary reality”. The spirit realm co-exists with our earthly physical one. The beings in the spirit realm don’t have physical bodies. So we can’t see, hear or contact them with our ‘normal’ senses. But we can communicate with them. At night, when asleep, we sometimes journey into the invisible realm to receive guidance from spirit entities. We can also visit them through a “Shamans journey”.
In my work with Systemic Ritual – I contact them and ask for their guidance and healing by setting up representatives for the animal helpers.
Different animals embody their own unique qualities and powers that they can lend us when we need them.
There is a link between spirit animals and animals that share the earth with us. We can see it in the unique characteristics and powers that are common to both the physical animals and their spirit counterparts. So observing intensively the physical animals can help you to gain access to their qualities and powers.
Whenever you have a particular need or interest, consider the attributes and characteristics of different physical animals. These reveal the powers of the spirit animals and help you select the one(s) that can best help you whenever you have a specific concern.
In my work with Systemic Ritual (a variation of Systemic Constellation Work), I work a lot with the following animals. I describe some aspects of these animals: qualities and powers I see most often. Of course, there are more qualities and strengths of the same animals – when met in a Systemic Ritual it will show itself and the message that is needed at the moment.
I invite you to meet them.
The eagle is a bird. Birds can fly; they are familiar with the air. The air element represents the mind and such things as heightened awareness, intellectual development and wisdom. Birds, as spirit helpers, can show you how to increase your mental powers and abilities. Birds like the eagle and the owl – have excellent vision. So they can help you to see things around you more clearly.
The eagle flies high – so he can help you to create some distance from the things that concern you and look at them from above, from a helicopter view. So you can explore the structures around the theme that occupies you at the moment.
The eagle is also able to zoom in – his eyes are like a telescope. From a height of 3 kilometres, he can read a newspaper ;-). So first he explores the whole landscape and then focuses. (He is a hunter – you know!) In this way, he can give you an answer to one of your needs.
Like the eagle, the owl is a bird and helps with seeing more clearly. The owl is an animal of the night – so his power is also in ‘seeing in the dark’ – meaning helping you to look at your shadow aspects and unconsciousness or helping you to see the things that are hidden.
The salamander can live in water and on the earth – as long as the environment is humid. The earth element represents physical or material qualities. As spirit animals, terrestrial creatures can help you handle matters related to work, money, health and other practical concerns. The water element represents emotions, intuition and creativity.
The salamander can regenerate his limbs. If he loses one, it will grow again. So he has an enormous self-healing power.
The parrot brings in the quality of free expression and communication. He is playful and likes to make noise. The parrot can help us to manifest ourselves without feeling limited in our expression.
Also the dolphin can bring us freedom in expression, playfulness and our ability to be curious – our need to discover, our openness to what is, without prejudgments. Because of the element water, the power of the dolphin has more to do with emotional expression and creativity.
The snake has a female aspect – he is connected to the Goddess in some ancient cultures and he moves in half circles on the ground. The snake also has a male aspect – the snake can erect himself upwards. So the snake can help us to balance our female and masculine qualities.
The snake is also connected to our sexual energy and can harmonise that energy. Also is the snake the symbol of wisdom, of healing wisdom – even nowadays it is the symbol of Medicine Art.
The snake can help us with skin problems. He knows how to release old skin and replace that for new skin.
The horse can give you power and vitality. Horses can live solitary, but a horse preferably lives in a group. Female horses, as well as male horses, can be group leaders. The horse can help you to take responsibilities and help you to find your place in life.
In my work with Systemic Constellation, I often see the quality of the horse in grounding, in standing on both legs.
The peacock teaches you how to be proud of the things you have achieved and how to embrace and show to the outer world what you have achieved. To present yourself in a positive way.
The vulture eats what has already died. He eats what is no more necessary in your life, what you can put aside and let go. Cleaning up, diminishing ballast.
The bear sleeps in wintertime. Animals that sleep in winter teach you how to go inwards and step into the dream world, into the depth, into the unconsciousness. The bear digs and makes the roots of trees visible. So he has the power to make our essence visible – the essence of your soul being.
The turtle is often called grandfather or grandmother. The turtle is one of the oldest animals that live on our earth. So it carries enormous wisdom of life in itself. The turtle is friendly and warm.
The Sami call the reindeer the ‘gentle ones, the soft ones’. The female, as well as the male reindeer, has antlers. Their antlers reach towards the stars, towards the ancestors. The antlers are like a stair. A stair that can bring you up and down to the sky, through which you can contact your ancestors and the universe. When the help of ancestors is needed, I call in a representative of the reindeer.
The swan symbolises androgyny. The feminine and the masculine dissolve in the being of the Swan. The polarity disappears. The swan is the protector of the soul. Like the young ones on the back of the swan in the physical world, the spirit Swan protects the soul of sick and traumatised people and brings the soul to safer places. I call in often the spirit of Swan in my work with Soul Retrieval.
The swan can also bring deceased souls to the other world. The swan has a strong connection with the ancestors and the angels. The swan is very serene, brings peace and balance. But even then – if necessary – the swan can defend himself powerfully and knows how to set boundaries.
The spider can be a healer of the nervous system. The spider creates its own web and also eats its own web. The spider can take away old structures and patterns and weave a new pattern or structure. He helps with breaking off limiting thinking patterns and replacing them with more helpful thoughts.